Empowering Personalization: The Art of Data Privacy and Consent Management
By Mark Saunders
Personalization makes customers feel understood. It provides a connection between customer and business that can lead to satisfaction and increased loyalty on one end and generate more revenue on the other. However, achieving the hyper-personalization of the modern era requires companies to have access to large amounts of customer data.
Customers don’t want to give up their data without a fight. At the same time, they expect businesses to deliver a personalized experience that considers all of their likes and dislikes. It’s why 86% of B2B and 71% of B2C customers expect companies to be informed about their personal information during interactions, but 94% want control over the information they share and how it’s used.
Balancing the fine line between personalized content and user data privacy can be intricate and requires companies to adopt a new approach that involves consent management.
What is Consent Management?
Consent management is a process for receiving consent from customers when collecting and using their personal data. Consent management originated as a requirement for companies in the healthcare industry that needed to establish consent from patients about who would have access to their protected health information (PHI).
With the emergence of data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and others, consent management has become relevant for all companies that want to be legally compliant and build customer trust.
Businesses typically use a consent management platform (CMP) to help with their consent management processes or policies and make them smoother and more efficient. Consent management enables businesses to collect and use customer data in a way that is compliant with data privacy regulations. This helps to build trust with customers, ensures legal compliance, and allows for personalized experiences that drive engagement and loyalty.
Mapping the Consent Management Process
In any organization that manages customer data, a properly functioning consent management process will look like this:
Explaining data processing practices to customer: When a customer visits a website or mobile application for the first time, they will be greeted with a popup stating that the company intends to collect information about them, with some points about how that data will be processed and used.
Providing granular consent options: Consumers are then given a rundown of the consent options available to them. For example, when greeted by a popup stating that the company collects cookie data, they can accept all cookies and select the cookies they are willing to accept or reject.
Obtaining consent: Once the customer has decided, the business can obtain their consent to collect and store their data. Another example of getting customer consent happens when signing up for a business newsletter or downloading a gated piece of content.
Once you’ve entered your information on the website, there is usually a consent box to accept that the business will contact you. After providing that consent, the first email confirms you intended to receive this information while asking you to consent to the email series and the further emails it entails.
Explaining how customers can withdraw consent or opt-out: Either during the initial period where content is obtained or via regular reminders, particularly as part of email marketing campaigns and newsletters, companies will explain to customers that they can withdraw their consent and have data removed from their records at any time.
Reviewing and updating consent parameters: Businesses with sound consent policies will also audit and update their parameters and consent management processes regularly to ensure compliance with any relevant regulations and inform consumers about changes that could impact their data privacy.
Key Data Privacy Considerations When Building Personalized Digital Experiences
Ethical considerations and legal obligations underpin personalized content creation and are why consent management is necessary for businesses. Companies should be aware of them and use them to aid the development of a secure consent management strategy for handling customer data.
Tracking Cookie Changes: With the phasing out of third-party cookies and the focus on first-party cookies and zero-party data, businesses need to adjust their approach to obtaining consent to get similar or better results from these data sources than when using third-party cookies.
Data Minimization: Companies must be mindful that while customers consent to giving them information, they should only take the necessary data to meet personalization requirements. By advising customers about how much data is required, they can earn their trust more quickly and avoid customers leaving if a data breach occurs and customer data becomes vulnerable.
Growing Fines: The fines that companies receive for GDPR and CCPA non-compliance are increasing, so legal and financial considerations need to be made when getting consent for personalized experiences.
GDPR can issue fines of up to 20 million euros or up to 4 % of total global turnover of the preceding fiscal year, whichever is higher for the most severe violations. In 2022, Clearview AI was fined 25.2 million euros, but tech juggernauts like Meta have been fined 1.2 billion euros in more severe cases.
Security: Customers expect that when they provide their data to a business, they will do their best so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. To facilitate this, companies must provide detailed and secure records of customer consent, enable customer data erasure, provide data breach notifications, and frequent regulatory updates and compliance checks.
Industry Specific Considerations: Some industries such as finance and insurance companies may have unique regulations or requirements related to consent management. It’s essential to stay informed about industry-specific guidelines to ensure compliance.
Challenges When Introducing Consent Management
When companies introduce consent management to help them provide personalized experiences while balancing the need for data privacy, they could face some challenges.
Identifying Consent Collection Points
Companies interacting with customers across several digital touchpoints must identify where they should collect consent. Depending on the consumer’s location and the company, this could vary.
Notifying of Consent
Businesses need the support of turnkey solutions and efficient processes to inform consumers and capture consent at the right moments.
While managing customer data across several touchpoints, organizing and centralizing that data can be challenging. For instance, customers interacting with a brand on multiple devices may have their data stored under different identities, making it difficult for the company to centralize and keep track of that data. Additionally, silos can form with data scattered between different systems.
To overcome these challenges, it’s essential to get proper support to identify the right tools and processes to help consent management so that customers will be willing to opt in.
How to Get Customers to Opt-In
Organizations that want to provide the personalized experiences their audiences crave must leverage consent management initiatives. The first step is to get customers to opt-in to share their personal information. Here are the steps to take to accomplish this:
Provide clear and transparent communication of all data collection and consent policies: Customers don’t want to be blindsided by companies handling their private information. Businesses must provide clear and transparent information about how that data will be collected, what customers need to do to consent, and how their data will be protected.
Explain the value they get when they opt-in: Before customers opt-in, they need to know the value they will get in return for providing their email address or any other information. Companies need to offer exclusive offers or information incentives, discounts on purchases, and other deals to entice customers to give them their data.
Enable customers to customize their data and personalization preferences: Not every customer will react the same way to a company asking for their data. Businesses must offer customization options so that customers can select what data they are willing to share.
Educate customers about data privacy changes: Privacy laws are constantly changing, and new customers are interacting with businesses at different stages of their journey. Companies should provide updates about data regulations such as GDPR and CCPA when they happen and explain how the business plans to respond to any changes.
Use privacy-first design and marketing strategies: When designing a website or conducting a marketing plan where getting customer data will be important, companies should have privacy top of mind. For example, this could entail having end-to-end encryption for any communications that happen via mobile apps or with a chatbot and implementing consent management processes from the beginning of any new marketing initiatives.
Measure customer sentiment: Businesses should leverage analytics and A/B testing tools to determine customer sentiment regarding opt-ins and data collection. Depending on the test results, they can adjust their consent management strategies accordingly to get more customers to share their data.
Make it easy to opt-out: Customers should be able to opt out of consent very easily. For example, instead of having to call a hotline or send an email to opt out of a newsletter, allowing customers to simply click a button and flow into an automated process would be better received and avoid any negative feedback.
Achieving Privacy-First Personalization with Content Bloom
Tailored experiences have become the hallmark of modern digital interactions, forcing companies to collect customer data to fuel their personalization efforts. However, personalization should be accompanied by a privacy-first approach, which includes consent management.
At Content Bloom, we understand how critical getting consent from your customers is to achieving your personalization goals. We offer a data-driven approach to UI/UX design services that can help businesses create the most engaging experiences for their customers. We also provide digital marketing services that combine data, strategy, and technology to help you integrate consent management in the right areas so that your customers will opt-in.
Ready to boost personalization with consent management? Contact us today.
What are the key principles of effective consent management?
Transparency, user control, clear communication, and compliance with data privacy laws. It involves obtaining informed consent, respecting user preferences, and regularly updating consent records.
What are some examples of effective consent collection methods?
Effective consent collection methods include clear pop-up notifications, cookie banners, checkboxes for specific data types, and user-friendly interfaces that allow customers to easily understand and customize their preferences.
What is consent marketing?
Consent marketing is a strategy that involves obtaining explicit consent from individuals before engaging them in promotional activities. It requires getting permission before sending marketing messages, collecting certain types of data, or using cookies for tracking so that every initiative is conducted with privacy in mind.
What is a consent management platform?
A consent management platform (CMP) is a software tool businesses use to facilitate compliance with data privacy regulations. It provides a centralized system for managing user preferences regarding data collection, processing, and marketing communications. CMPs enable companies to present clear information to users, obtain and document their consent, and ensure that these preferences are respected across various touchpoints.
What’s the difference between consent management and preference management?
Consent management focuses on obtaining and managing user consent related to data processing activities. On the other hand, preference management focuses on a range of user choices and preferences beyond just consent for data processing. This can include preferences related to content, communication channels, and frequency of communication.
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